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Today's big adventure was a boat ride on Lake Geneva, or, as the locals call it, Lac Leman.  The famous "jet d'eau" was out of commission today because of the weather, but the equally famous if not equally obvious Neptune's rocks were visible, as were sailboarders and other sailors on the lake.

This is a bridge over the mouth of the Rhône River, which flows from Lake Geneva south. The Île de Rousseau is on the left, out of the frame, and the Île de Rhône is directly ahead on the right.


The trees and swans of Île de Rousseau, the tiny island named for native Jean-Jacques Rousseau of enlightenment philosophy fame.  There is also a restaurant here.

Like many European cathedrals, St. Peter's, Geneva, caps the highest point of the town.

Villas line the shores of Lake Geneva.

Le Palais Wilson, named for President Wilson, who established the League of Nations.

A group of cottages on the west shore, with the Alps in the background.

A west shore community

We returned to the old city and did some digging around St. Peter's Cathedral and Calvin's Auditoire, where he did much of his preaching.  There was no sign anywhere of Louis Bourgeois, and precious little mention of any musician, composer, or even music, save what we saw yesterday at the Reformation museum.  I harbor the suspicion that they mentioned Goudimel only because he was one of the victims of the St. Bartholemew's Day massacre.

It is curious to note that in Calvin's own stomping grounds, where one would imagine the most strict Calvinism might have taken root, iconoclasm seems to have used a light touch.  Rather than a wholesale ruin of all images and art, stained glass, some sculpture, organ, (and presumably polyphonic/homophonic and choral music) and architectural aesthetic remain both at St. Peter's and in the Auditoire. 

Consistory stalls at St. Peter's:


We had the good fortune to meet and speak with the organist who serves the congregation of Scottish Presbyterians that meets now in the Auditoire, and hear him play a Bach prelude and fugue in preparation for Sunday's service.  We also noted with some disappointment that in the latest refurbishing of the interior, Calvin's arrangement of placing the pulpit in the center of the long wall was supplanted with the more common (and more modern) placement at the end opposite the entrance.  There was no explanation given for the change; for what it's worth, I think Calvin had it right.

Close-up of stained glass in St. Peter's

Close-up of stained glass in St. Peter's;
note the papal seal in the bottom right pane.

Calvin's chair

The pulpit at St. Peter's

St. Peter's Nave (stairs to the pulpit and a hymn board are on the left).

Portal to St. Mary's chapel in St. Peter's

The choir area at St. Peter's

Front of the pulpit, with a communion table and the organ in the background.

The evening was spent trying to get some of these pages up and posted, along with organizing our belongings for the trip home, deciding what to send via post and what to squirrel away in which valise.  We were to take the afternoon train back to Roissy-en-France on the morrow.

Next day:

This page was last edited on November 08, 2010
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